May 23, 2014, 7:15 PM EST
Enough of this nonsense. Please.
This is the World Cup we are gearing up for, not the NBA draft.
You know, the event that comes once every four years. There will be four Champions League finals, two Gold Cups, a Copa America, and an Olympics between this World Cup and the next.
You don’t tank a World Cup to prepare for the next one four years into the distance. You just don’t. That’s why all of this talk that Jurgen Klinsmann has picked a young squad to prepare for the 2018 World Cup is utter shenanigans. I’m calling shenanigans.
Not only is throwing away four years of hard work on the off chance that the experience helps in the future completely ludicrous, but the United States isn’t even guaranteed to be in the next World Cup. Just ask Mexico about how things turn out when you take a World Cup berth for granted (you’re welcome, El Tri).
If Jurgen Klinsmann even hints that the squad he chose for Brazil was to prepare for the 2018 World Cup (which he by all means will not), he should be fired on the spot.
Klinsmann selected the players he did for the 2014 World Cup because in his evaluation, through talent, experience, skill, and character traits, these 23 players give the United States their best chance to make it out of Group G and as far as possible into the knockout phase.
Sure, it’s nice to have an 18-year-old phenom on the squad, and while he probably won’t play much, he will be preparing for future years at the international level. But Klinsmann would not have thrown away the opportunity to select someone else who could significantly help this year just to give a kid experience for the future. That would be heresy.
MORE ON US ROSTER ANNOUNCEMENT
- Analyzing Klinsmann’s cuts | Klinsmann explains decision (VIDEO)
- SOCCERLY: Why those seven aren’t going to Brazil
- Clear message from Klinsmann’s roster: 2018 is in focus
- Twitter reacts to decision | Donovan issues Facebook statement
- Lesson of the day: Still a lot to learn about Jurgen Klinsmann
So for all those that say Landon Donovan (or any of the other six cuts) was left out of the squad because Klinsmann has an opportunity to get ready for the next World Cup four years away, stop it. We may not all agree with his assessment, but the skipper chose the 23 players he did because he believes they have the best shot for the United States to win now.
Does it help that they’re young, and the country can begin to really build a solid foundation on their potential success? Sure. But flopping in this year’s World Cup does nobody a lick of good, and could even cause the US Soccer Federation to go completely back to the drawing board. Does going three-and-out this year, especially in ugly fashion, really help the country build for the future?
This isn’t the NBA. Nobody’s losing for a better pick to build a winning team. Tanking a World Cup to prepare for another four years into the future is asinine. So Klinsmann, as crazy as he is, isn’t doing it.
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